I don’t profess to have all of the answers with any of this, all I’m trying to do is share what seems to have worked for me (although colleagues could tell me otherwise!). I’ve found engaging with staff is something which is really important. Ripples created by conversations about apps and learning have led to other things flourishing. Show one colleague for example how to use Google forms and the knock on effect where they’ve then started using it to set assessments, gather data, and then sharing how they’ve done that with other colleagues in their team… the impacts are massive and it builds a momentum. Show another colleague how to use Explain Everything and set up a YouTube channel and before you know it there are loads of screencasts on their department YouTube channel and learning is being flipped…
…I have lots of examples of how the ripples caused by casting a stone with some sharing of edtech ideas and resources is a powerful thing. It is exceedingly rewarding working with colleagues. Like me, they all enjoy learning new things and if Hattie is correct, learning new things (instruction) can have an effect size of up to 0.9 standard deviations. A definite plus point! (If it works for students, why shouldn’t it apply to staff too??)
Source: NESTA report – Decoding Learning
If you want a project to really flourish though – you need to invest in training. Make sure that if you’re going to invest or embark upon an initiative such as using mobile technology across your school, your staff have plenty of lead time to familiarise themselves with ideas, workflow, apps and give them opportunities to share and reflect too. “App- offs” with colleagues are always great fun… “Have you seen this app?”… “Well if you like that then you’ll love….” “I’ve used this with my Year 9’s and what they did was…” – it’s brilliant, always being mindful though to bring it back to the learning… Give staff the opportunity to think about workflow too – how will they be able to use multiple apps to create learning resources but then compile them in to a great learning resource that is accessible? Be sure to give staff opportunities to plan and think about how they will use the technology to help their practice in the classroom too. Time and investment in staff will reap massive benefits to learning once a project goes full steam ahead.
Don’t forget too to include thinking about SAMR and the critical pedagogy behind the way in which devices might be used either by staff or by students. This is perhaps the most critical part of the journey; making sure that not only are staff versed in how a device might be used, the opportunities for learning it can bring, but also to think about how the use of ‘said’ device, might bring forth more transformation learning opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the technology.
How are you working with staff (and students) to support their learning with iPad? We are also using Digital Leaders to offer support to both students and staff in their use of iPads, the etiquette of iPad use in the classroom and the means by which iPads can be used to benefit learning too. Do you use Digital Leaders in this way? I’d love to hear from you on all of the things discussed here. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below if you have any.